Posted on September 13, 2016 in General
Many people wonder if ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft are as safe as other options, like taxi services or public transportation. This is a legitimate concern, after all, considering that there have been numerous reports of car accidents and even physical assaults on passengers by drivers.
While rideshare services assure their customers that their drivers are background checked and qualified, there will always be an element of risk involved in accepting a ride from a total stranger. Did you know that rideshare companies are not even considered transportation services, as they are often able to operate outside of the regulations that traditional transportation services must abide by? Unlike taxi drivers, Uber and Lyft drivers are not held to the same qualification standards – for instance, according to US News, they do not have to be fingerprinted and may potentially even be allowed to drive with a criminal background (background checks only look at the previous seven years). In fact, just about anyone with their own car, auto insurance, and a valid driver’s license can become a rideshare driver – even with prior driving offenses on their criminal record.
Ubers Come with Built-In Distractions
Most people are aware that driving with distractions can be incredibly dangerous. Things like eating, texting, or even listening to excessively loud music can increase the chance of an accident. While we’ve all heard that it is important not to use cell phones while driving, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft rely on them. Drivers use GPS maps to follow the route to a given address and refer to them frequently while driving, taking their focus off the road. They also consult their smartphones throughout their time on duty in order to find and accept new fares. As they may only have a matter of seconds to accept a new job, the likelihood is that they will do so while they are driving. Even a momentary glance at a phone can be enough to cause a serious accident, especially at night or in adverse weather conditions.
Seeking Compensation After an Uber Accident
In some cases, you may be able to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation from Uber if your driver was at fault for the accident. Because liability and insurance matters can be complex in rideshare accident cases, it is a good idea to work with a qualified car accident attorney who can examine auto insurance policies, gather data including photographs and police reports, and calculate the damages you have suffered.
The Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Kelley/Uustal stand ready to assist you with your Uber accident claim. Call us today at (954) 522-6601 to schedule a consultation.